Man smashed way into guest's bedroom and stayed the night
A 24-year-old man smashed his way into a guest's bedroom at the Belmore Court Motel in Enniskillen and spent the night there, leaving the following morning wearing the guest's jacket.
David John Mullan appeared at Fermanagh Court and admitted committing the burglary.
A prosecutor explained that on July 30, last year, the Belmore Court contacted police to say that a fortnight earlier, on July 8, Mullan had forced his way into a guest's bedroom, causing £300 worth of damage to the door. He had spent the night in the room and left wearing a jacket belonging to the guest, who was away over night.
The court heard that Mullan had come into the motel earlier that night claiming he was looking for his grandparents' room. The motel had no record of his grandparents staying there. He spent 40 minutes sitting in the lobby, during which time his wallet fell out of his pocket with his name on it. He then left and was caught on CCTV walking around the back of the motel and leaving at 8.40am wearing the guest's jacket. The owner of the motel made contact with him and gave him time to pay for the damage. However, when there was no contact from Mullan the police were called in. Mullan told them he had been "on the drink" for two days, his mobile phone had a flat battery and he had no way of contacting anyone. He didn't remember taking the jacket but when he got home he had a jacket. It was returned to the guest, who was from Europe.
Defence barrister Heather Philips said Mullan lived in Newtownards and had been in Enniskillen with a number of friends, from whom he became separated. The battery of his mobile phone was flat and he had no way of contacting them. He went to the motel, believing his grandparents were staying there.
District Judge John Meehan referred to a previous conviction on Mullan's criminal record when he was ordered to pay £423 compensation after taking a taxi and failing to pay the fare.
The District Judge told the court that with or without drink Mullan "does engage in very bizarre behaviour" and this was a "similar sort of bluff and duplicity".
He said the motel had behaved with "more than magnaminity" by saying: "Pay for the door and we'll leave it at that."
Miss Philips said Mullan had instructed her that he was in a position to pay the money but hadn't done so.
However, after checking with Mullan, who was sitting at the back of the court, she conceded that he didn't have the cash.
The case was adjourned to Dungannon Court on February 8.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 08 Jan 13